Exmouth RNLI volunteers rescue lone fisherman nine miles out at sea
A mobile phone call to the Coastguard prompted the launch of Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn on Friday 11 December at 2.45pm. A fishing boat from Torquay had suffered mechanical failure and the lone fisherman was unclear of his location.
The speed of the Shannon class lifeboat meant that Exmouth RNLI Crew volunteers were on scene, nine miles south east of the lifeboat station within 26 minutes in calm and clear conditions. After a Crew volunteer was put on board to attempt starting the failed engine, the casualty was under tow within 11 minutes towards Torquay.
On arrival at Torquay, the casualty was taken by Marina staff to his berth. R and J Welburn returned to station and was ready for service again at 5.50pm.
Deputy Launching Authority, Rick Newcombe co-ordinated the search from the lifeboat station:
‘During the tow, the Crew volunteer on board demonstrated how to use his on board VHF radio. This would have been a more reliable method to call for help and his location could have been picked up more precisely, making it easier for us to locate him. VHF Communication allows the all-weather lifeboat to direction find on a casualty vessel which will save time in a real emergency. We strongly recommend this method to call for help as mobile phone coverage is extremely patchy this far out at sea.’
Fishing boat casualty alongside Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn